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Unread 02-07-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
Jbbenton
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Sanford, NC
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Looking at 1989 Grand Wagoneer

What particular items do I need to look at before buying a 1989 Grand Wagoneer? are there any inherent problems beside possible electrical issues with windows that I need to be specifically aware?

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Unread 02-07-2013, 08:06 PM   #2
RockRollin
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1990 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Grand Haven Mi, USA
Posts: 1,074
Can you get in it and drive? These are sometimes pretty abused vehicles. If you can test drive and feel the mechanical aspects of it that helps. Your right about the electric interior parts, lights, locks, windows, but the later years are a little more reliable. I usually tell people that these are not for someone who wants to take a car to the shop for maintenance. Most modern mechanics don't know what to do unless the diagnostic equipment tells them. There are some old school mechanics that still get it , but most are retired. That being siad, depending on your willingness to get down and dirty these rigs have a VERY sturdy base framework and running gear, its all the little nit-pickey stuff you'll have to maintain. There are no real inherent issues in an 89 other than the weak valve train, poor ignition system, smog garbage, poor mpg, floaty steering............. . I drive my 90 all over with confidence, but I've had to raise the hood in parking lots too, and I always have a smile on my face when behind the wheel
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Clawed: 90GW, TFI, Streetfire, 3"lift all spring, 31"BFG ATs, working RKE, Edel2131, Holly 1850, mild cam,
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Unread 02-07-2013, 08:15 PM   #3
Jbbenton
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Location: Sanford, NC
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thank you for your help. What should I be listening for or looking for on the valve train? Are the valves and ignition problems generally fixed when replaced with aftermarket parts? Bad mpg and floaty steering was a given.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 03:00 AM   #4
RockRollin
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1990 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Grand Haven Mi, USA
Posts: 1,074
None of the valve or ignition issues are a big fix, if there's a problem at all. I replaced the cam, t-chain, zeroed cam, valve springs, upgraded ignition to TFI-MSD, water pump, right out of the gate, and really had no big issues with any of it to begin with. However it starts quicker, snappier throttle response, idles smoother, and runs cooler. This weekend job cost around $500 , and I cleaned up a lot of tidbits in the process. Check the 4x4 to make sure it goes in, put it in low range but not for long on dry surface. There shouldn't be any rust issues if its a Carolina truck. A FSJ is a blast to own and drive but they do like attention.
__________________
"I like fun" Edd
Clawed: 90GW, TFI, Streetfire, 3"lift all spring, 31"BFG ATs, working RKE, Edel2131, Holly 1850, mild cam,
05 Renegade OME 927, 947, top plate, JBA 4.5s
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